How does an astrophysicist bake cookies?

With a solar oven, of course! Astrophysicist Charles Greeley Abbot, second director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and fifth secretary of the Smithsonian, invented a solar oven in 1940. Solar energy was transmitted by mirror to a square oven where cakes and cookies could be baked. Solar Sweets Questions come alive at  


Blast from the past

In the good old summertime. Loyal B. Aldrich of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (1908-1955) and Astrophysicist Charles Greeley Abbot (fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian, 1928-1944) playing tennis behind the Smithsonian Institution Building, next to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1922. The National Air Museum Quonset Hut is in the background.


November 15, 1981

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory installs a new electronic image processing system, coupled with a VAX computer, for producing video and hard-copy images of observational data from both ground-based and space-borne telescopes.

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